Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Environmental Field Trips In and Out of the Classroom

One of the favorite days for any student is a field trip. These days, field trips for classes are far fewer than the once were due to the costs and paperwork involved for teachers.

Still, there are lots of opportunities in NJ for field trips by classes OR for students to take with their families on weekends and vacations.

New Jersey's residents can appreciate the state's rich natural heritage - wetlands, beaches, rivers, lakes, pinelands, forests, plateaus and numerous species of plants and wildlife.

How did residents live long ago? How does the state serve as steward to the forests, wildlife and waterways under its protection? What critical environmental issues are the DEP and other environmental organizations concerned with?

Students visit the "Sugar Shack" at the Forest Resource Education Center (FREC),
operated by the New Jersey Forest Service,
located in Jackson Township in northern Ocean County.

The FREC property contains 660 acres of forested uplands and hardwood swamps bordering the headwaters of the Toms River. The New Jersey Forest Tree Nursery utilizes 45 acres of the site for the propagation and production of more than 300,000 seedlings annually for reforestation and community forestry programs throughout the state.

The experienced staff at the new Interpretive Center provides comprehensive interactive programs for schools, scout and civic groups on the 5.5-mile Project Learning Trail. Outdoor Learning Stations with informational kiosks and "talking trees" are located along the trails.

Programs are designed for families, individuals, classes, youth groups and organizations. Some locations also offer outreach and in-class programs.

There are printable (pdf) documents for many trips, such as: